Building Postcards: Tom Beland
When it comes to the talent involved in Postcards, Tom Beland just made sense. He can do romance and comedy extremely well, True Story Swear to God is a fan-loved and Eisner nominated godsend, and moving it to Image will guarantee some more exposure, especially in the bookstores.
I first contacted Tom after New York Comic-Con – I was sitting at my desk, at work, going over the names of people I met there and trying to figure out who to contact first. While sitting there, Tom Beland pops into my head. I try to figure out who might know him but come up cold – I make my way to his website and send an email off to him.
An hour or so later he calls me up and says he wants to do the book.
And that’s really it.
I mean, there’s more – I guess. That night I send him a couple of postcards to choose from – one that leaves room for some drama and one that leaves room for some romance.
A couple of weeks later he calls me up and tells me his story – he’s using the potential-for-romance secret admirer card. The story is a perfect fit for the anthology, I ask him a couple of questions and he has good answers for all of them, and I let him do his thing.
At one point I needed some early pages from him. Not knowing Tom that well yet, I was reluctant to call him. I get him on the phone and he tells me that it’s no problem; he’ll have two pages for me within a week.
I met him for the first time at Comic-Con, this past weekend. He was signing at the Ait booth. We shook hands; he told me the book went from fun to intimidating when I announced Harvey Pekar’s involvement. Honestly – I never got that from him before, everything just went so smooth – pages and stories appearing when they were supposed to and being exactly what I needed. He tells me he’ll put the pages to ink after SDCC and I should have them soon.
If that’s Tom Beland intimidated, I need to see how smooth it goes when he’s in his comfort zone.
Of course, I heard the intimidation comment from a lot of the guys working on the book. Usually it’s a half-joking kind of thing. But it could be there a little bit, I’m sure, and for all I know it could be driving force behind the fact that everyone is turning some of the best work I’ve ever seen from them. Or it could just be that the concept of Postcards is such that the 8-pages becomes a bit of a passion project for them. But, whatever it is, Tom Beland is a great example as to what working on this book is like – even someone I’ve never met before dives into it and delivers the best he can deliver with little effort from myself or James Powell.
Next week, Josh Fialkov and Micah Farritor…